Plant-based meat company Impossible Foods has announced a convertible note worth $114 million. This brings the total amount raised by the company since its creation to $396 million.
Impossible Foods uses advanced technology to create some of the most realistic plant-based meat alternatives on the market. It aims to reduce the environmental destruction caused by meat production so that it will be possible to feed the world’s population sustainably as it grows.
Almost half of the arable land on the planet is devoted to animal agriculture, along with a quarter of freshwater. Dr Patrick O. Brown, the CEO of Impossible Foods, says the company is on an urgent mission to make the food system more sustainable.
The most famous Impossible Foods product is the Impossible Burger, which has made history by becoming the first plant-based burger to win various awards previously reserved for traditional burgers. It is made from simple, natural ingredients, with no artificial flavours. Producing the burger generates 87% fewer greenhouse gases than producing beefburgers.
The ingredient responsible for the burger’s realistic meaty taste is heme, a molecule which carries oxygen in the blood. Meat contains high concentrations of this molecule. Impossible Foods uses yeast to produce heme in a cheap and environmentally-friendly way.
In the space of a year, The Impossible Burger has become available in over 1000 restaurants across the USA. Demand for the burger is so great that the company is not currently able to meet it. The company has plans to increase production in order to expand to more restaurants. The next step will be to launch the product in Asia, which has the fastest-growing demand for meat in the world.
Impossible Foods is hugely ambitious, aiming to end animal agriculture in order to make global food production sustainable. Support from investors will be vital if it is to accomplish this mission. The company has many prolific investors – among the newest are the investment company Temasek and the private equity firm Sailing Capital. Bill Gates, Google Ventures and the Open Philanthropy Project have also provided substantial funding, among others.
Impossible Foods was founded in 2011 and is based in Redwood City, California.